Have you ever been on a hike that didn’t turn out the way you hoped, imagined or expected ?
Perhaps you went hiking with a group of people who did not share your expectations to the cultural contents of the hike. So you ended up quarreling.
Or perhaps you found the hike too primitive, because you had to sleep outdoor in shelters or tents, and you are a person who prefers the comfort that hotels may offer regarding food and nice beds.
The thing is, hiking is not only about picking a trail in nature. It is so much more. You need to decide on details such as social context, costs, food, and accommodation before you go. Because if you don’t your hike may end up being a disaster.
A good place to start is to find out, which type of hiker you are.
The 5 types of hikers
I have identified five archetypes — are you one of them?
1. The social hiker
You don’t really care if you are hiking, running, or sitting in a coffee bar drinking café latte with friends as long as you are with nice and interesting people. The social interaction with other people is the very essence of hiking for you.
But hiking is a great way to spend time with people because when you walk and talk versus sit and talk, the quality of communication is enhanced. So you go hiking with groups of people with whom you have some sort of common interest, e.g. LGBT groups, colleagues, friends or family. Hiking on your own is much too boring for you.
2. The lone wolf hiker
You really love being outdoors and feel the magic of nature. Hiking in beautiful surroundings on your own helps you recharge, and you often go hiking just to reflect and develop new ideas.
This does not mean that you want to be alone out there all the time. On the contrary, you also enjoy sharing you hiking interest with friends and family with whom you feel close. But you avoid hiking with large groups you know only on a superficial level.
3. The intellectual hiker
Like the lone wolf, you are very much in love with nature and seek adventures outdoor. But the experiences in nature are just not enough for you. You also want intellectual and cultural input during your hikes.
So you do a lot of research before you go to find interesting information about the places you are about to visit. And once you are out on your trail, you organize cultural intermezzos, e.g. visits in nice towns near the trail.
4. The back to basics hiker
If you are a back to basics hiker, you love using nature as much as possible on your hikes.
Meals must be prepared over an open fire and the nights must be spent in shelters or tents.
You don’t even want luggage operators to transport your luggage between your camps since you loathe all kinds of luxury where everything is being taken care of for you. All-inclusive tours are for people who don’t know the true values of life.
5. The luxury hiker
You love the beauty of nature and discovering new places during your hikes as long as it does not get too primitive. Therefore, you prefer tours that allow you to check into nice hotels that offer all sorts of comfort. You really enjoy the gourmet food and the nice wines that are served in the evening and the comfortable beds in the hotel. Sleeping outdoors is way too primitive for you.
Did you find your type?
You will most likely recognize features from more types of hikers in yourself and find it difficult to identify with just one type. Most hikers do.
Or you may have evolved since your first hiking days. I started out as a lone wolf, who loved hiking on my own whenever I needed to energize myself. But over the years I have become more an intellectual hiker and enjoy combining my hikes with cultural experiences.
Even though I identify with more types of hikers and evolve all the time the arche types are very useful for me. They help me to reflect on my personality and thus identify my needs and expectations. And the reflections make it much easier to find the appropriate hike and company.
I’m very picky.
You see, in the internet you find many tour operators and Facebook groups, who offer a wide variety of hikes.
Some hikes are very luxurious and involve accommodation in expensive hotels and gourmet food. Other hikes are primitive and require that you are ready to carry a heavy backpack for many miles. You may even encounter operators who sell hikes with behavioral requirements, e.g. silence hikes.
So you need to be very careful!
Pick the hike that suits your needs
If you do your homework and identify your type of hiker it will be much easier for you to pick the perfect hikes.
You won’t find yourself on the wrong hikes again frustrated with the conditions. You’ll know more about yourself and exactly what you want so that you’ll be able to seek out the best adventures that match your needs.
The accomodations and comfort during your hikes will fulfill your expectations. You will travel with people who share your interests and you won’t end up quarreling with them anymore.